It was announced Wednesday that comedian Chris Rock will host the 88th annual Academy Awards in 2016. Rock revealed the news by tweeting “Look who’s back #Oscars,” with a picture of himself holding one of the gold statuettes.
Rock first hosted the Oscars 10 years ago at the 77th Academy Awards. “Welcome to the 77th, and last, Academy Awards,” Rock said at the start of his monologue. He later referred to the show as the “Def Oscar Jam” as a result of that year’s five black acting nominees: Jamie Foxx (twice), Morgan Freeman, Don Cheadle, and Sophie Okonedo.
But Rock’s most daring moment came when he began to bash other actors at the ceremony. During a bit in which Rock criticized filmmakers for rushing their movies out, he insulted Jude Law, Tobey Maguire, and Colin Farrell by insinuating that they were low-rent versions of more prolific actors.
“Clint Eastwood is a star, okay? Tobey Maguire is just a boy in tights,” Rock said, referencing Maguire’s then-status as Spider-Man. He then went in on Law: “You want Tom Cruise and all you can get is Jude Law? Wait. It’s not the same thing. Who is Jude Law? Why is he in every movie I have seen the last four years? He’s in everything. Even the movies he’s not acting in. If you look at the credits, he made cupcakes or something. He’s in everything. He’s gay, he’s straight, he’s American, he’s British — next year, he’s playing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in a movie.”
When Sean Penn later took to the stage to present the Academy Award for Best Actress, he defended Law, his All the King’s Men costar. “Forgive my lack of humor,” Penn said, before answering Rock’s initial query. “Jude Law is one of our most talented actors.”
So what will Chris Rock bring to the stage in 2016? When the 50-year-old hosted Saturday Night Live last year, his entire monologue was built around hot-button issues, including gun control, Ebola, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. (Of the Freedom Tower, Rock joked, “Who’s the corporate sponsor, Target?”)
“Chris Rock is truly the MVP of the entertainment industry,” said Oscar show producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin in a statement announcing the news on Wednesday. “Comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, documentarian — he’s done it all. He’s going to be a phenomenal Oscar host!” Just don’t tell Jude Law.